• Question: From an engineering perspective, is it possible that the meteorite that struck the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago also triggered the lava flows called the Deccan Traps? I wonder if the force of the collision could have been hydro-dynamically transferred through the liquid part of the mantle or otherwise?

    Asked by Jim Schrage on 29 Dec 2014.
    • Photo: Andy Hearn

      Andy Hearn answered on 29 Dec 2014:

      I don’t have the geological background to properly answer your question, but I’d think that this is a sound theory (whether it has been ‘proven’ yet).

      But from a software engineering perspective, re-creating that impact in a virtual environment is quite doable with the computing power available from the last 5-10 years – and it appears that this has already been done at least once (so says Google) – but in my opinion, to cover *all* the factors and eventualities of an impact at this scale, we’d need a greater collaboration from much more diverse fields on top of the engineering.

      That’s a prime example why software engineering and similar kinds of process control are great – we get to learn and absorb all sorts from other fields in order to develop the software for!

    • Photo: Fiona Dickinson

      Fiona Dickinson answered on 6 Jan 2015:

      Andy this is a great answer, nowadays it is not enough to just be a great geologist or a great physicist, we need to pool knowledge because one person can’t be an expert on everything.